Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Anything Goes

Ted Cruz lied about Obamacare because why the hell not? Trump lies all the time and everyone loves it. Surely the world would love Cruz's lies as well!  From the Politico article:
Ted Cruz revealed on Thursday that he is not currently covered by any health insurance, chalking up the lack of coverage to Obamacare. 
"I’ll tell you, you know who one of those millions of Americans is who’s lost their health care because of Obamacare? That would be me," Cruz told a Manchester, New Hampshire, audience. "I don’t have health care right now."
He lied. He was covered. It was a moronic lie; it would be and was discovered immediately. Cruz obviously believed that lying about Obamacare would help his career because it always had. Cruz decided to go for broke.
Cruz explained that he had purchased an individual policy and that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas had canceled all of its individual policies in Texas, effective Dec. 31. Cruz and his wife, Heidi, who is on temporary leave from her job with Goldman Sachs, purchased an individual plan last year after previously receiving coverage through the Wall Street firm. A spokeswoman for Cruz's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify his remarks.
I too have a BCBS of Texas individual policy through the marketplace. BCBS switched to all-HMO in the marketplace but still has individual policies, as my new monthly bill, health cards and benefits book prove.
"So our health care got canceled, we got a notice in the mail, Blue Cross Blue Shield was leaving the market. And so we’re in the process of finding another policy," Cruz said. "I hope by the end of the month we’ll have a policy for our family. But our premiums — we just got a quote, our premiums are going up 50 percent. That’s happening all over the country. That’s happening in New Hampshire."
His old policy was cancelled. He must have received several notices in the mail that informed him his plan was ending, told him to sign up for a new one when the enrollment period opened if he so desired, and told him he could also elect to do nothing and let BCBSTX automatically enroll him in a new plan . Those notices also told him BCBS is still in the individual market, of course. I received the same notices. Perhaps BCBSTX was just messing with Cruz and decided to take his money and do nothing in return, but it is more probable that he received the same information in the mail as everyone else.

I happen to have some of those letters right here. One is dated September 25, 2015. It says my plan will be discontinued but I can enroll in another during Open Enrollment in November. They end the letter with: "Nothing is more important than your health. And our goal is to help you and your family live health and stay healthy in 2016. Watch your mail for more details. The, make your choice during the Open Enrollment period to be sure there's no gap in your coverage. We'll be standing by, ready to help you. every step of the way."

The bastards! More lies:
It would appear that news of the cancellation did not go over well in the Cruz household.

"By the way, when you let your health insurance policy lapse, your wife gets really ticked at you," he remarked. "It's not a good-I've had, shall we say, some intense conversations with Heidi on that."
Lying is all in the details, evidently. But what else can he say--it's not good family values to let your little girls' health insurance lapse and no wife would stand for it, especially right after she gave up her own valuable insurance. Lies must be compounded upon lies. The Politico article went on to point out Cruz was lying. 

Sadly, that was not the end of lies from the Cruz camp. Liars need scapegoats so Cruz blamed his insurance broker. From The Wall Street Journal:
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said Friday that Mr. Cruz’s insurance broker had told him that he lost his health coverage when his Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas preferred provider organization, or PPO, policy terminated on Dec. 31.

But Mr. Cruz had in fact been automatically enrolled by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas in another, narrower-network “health maintenance organization” plan that kept him covered in January. As we reported earlier, when we explained the headache on Friday, that’s what the insurer said it did for all customers in his situation — even if Mr. Cruz didn’t know it.
We received a letter dated October 20, 2015, notifying us of the automatic enrollment as well. It said: "Your NEW health plan will begin on January 1, 2016. The new [...] plan that we have selected for you will be effective on January 1, 2016 to ensure that you do not have a gap in coverage. If you continue to pay your monthly premium on time, your coverage will continue.

Meanwhile back at the campaign, the lies continue. As the candidate goes, so goes the campaign.
In a reversal, the Cruz campaign now says that Ted Cruz's family actually had insurance all along. Although their initial PPO plan did lapse, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas automatically enrolled them in another plan -- known as a "health maintenance organization” plan -- to keep them covered. Cruz just didn't realize it. Even though the family does have some type of coverage, Cruz still plans on shopping around for a new plan that's closer to the old one his family had.
And some more.
Based on the information from his insurance broker, “Sen. Cruz believed the family was uninsured and asked the broker to pull quotes immediately for a new policy,” Ms. Frazier said. “The Cruz family is currently covered by a Blue Cross HMO.”

Not for long, though. Mr. Cruz recently arranged to get a new policy that is closer to the kind of coverage he had before, and will be a Humana enrollee effective March 1 in one of their wider-network PPO plans. That’s what will cost him around 50% more than he was paying in 2015, Ms. Frazier said.
That's a very incompetent broker. He told Cruz that he and his wife and daughters didn't have health insurance because their policies were cancelled-which would mean that he risked the Cruzes' financial well-being-but if the broker knew the policies were cancelled he was receiving information on their account and knew that their policy was being replaced automatically.

All the while the Cruzes did have health insurance. He told the Cruzes that their policy was cancelled for no reason and told them to sign up for a new policy for no reason. For no reason, he did not tell them their plan was rolling into a new one, that the new plan was an HMO, and that they needed to pick a new plan if they didn't want the automatic one.

That might be the most thorough example of chucking someone under a bus that I have ever seen.

No matter how it was done, going from a Goldman, Sachs gold-plated plan to being stuck in the same humble HMO as his constituents would never do. Yet Cruz also wants to make an anti-government point.
Cruz and his family were previously covered under a blue chip employer plan offered by Goldman Sachs, where his wife Heidi worked before going on unpaid leave in March to help with the campaign.

As a U.S. senator, Cruz also has the option to get coverage through the Washington, D.C.-exchange, where he would also be eligible for a subsidy up to 75 percent from his government employer, as [Michael A.] Hiltzik also noted.

"Cruz is still eligible for the government’s employer subsidy of up to 75% of his health insurance premium," Hiltzik wrote. "He has said he wouldn’t accept the employer share, which makes his complaint about his cost of insurance just a teeny bit more dishonest because he’s the one driving up his own premium."
I doubt Heidi turned down her employer subsidy. If they can hold on for a while she can go back to private work and all will be well.

Will anyone care that Cruz is a lying liar? More on that later.

10 comments:

Downpuppy said...

I'm willing to believe that Cruz is so clueless and entitled that he misunderstood the switching to HMO letter. All those fake Obamacare horror stories that we were flooded with a few years ago dried up as the refutations became rude and immediate, and nobody seems willing to go out and dig any more up.

Susan of Texas said...

I understood the letter and I didn't go to Harvard. He is a lawyer and this is exactly the sort of thing they don't get confused by. The letters did not say BBCSTX was switching from PPO to HMO for marketplace plans until (if I recall correctly) the switch was about to be made. The letters said his plan was ending and he would automatically be put into another plan if he did nothing.

Susan of Texas said...

I meant to add, conservative denial can be extremely strong but this is their kids' health insurance. You can't monkey around with that.

Yastreblyansky said...

Great.

One thing I wondered was why they didn't continue with the Goldman insurance under Cobra when Mrs. Cruz went on leave? It's totally possible to hold on to that private plan and not dirty yourself with Obamacare, wouldn't it have been better for the family to do that? Oh, I know, the beastly government program is a much better deal.

Downpuppy said...

Well, you don't monkey around with your kids health, but you're not The World's Biggest Asshole™

Yastreblyansky said...

Downpuppy could be right in this sense: Cruz's immediate reaction to the letter, based on the lies he himself has been telling about the ACA for years, was to feel justified--"now I have proof!"--and he was too excited to read more carefully. When he realized it was a stupid misreading he'd already started crowing about it, but naturally rather than correcting himself he doubled down on the lies, because that's what he does. The same as Rubio and the others are compounding the lies about Planned Parenthood.

Susan of Texas said...

You guys might be right but if he read the letters and thought his health insurance was going to be cancelled why didn't he sign up for a new policy? He found out in July and was reminded in September, October, November, and December. The letters said his plan was cancelled but his coverage would continue under a different plan. When did he first say he had no insurance?

Is working for Goldman Sachs a conflict of interest in some way? Would it be a problem to get donations from them?

Susan of Texas said...

I thought I was a big enough asshole to understand him but maybe not.

Smut Clyde said...

Is working for Goldman Sachs a conflict of interest in some way? Would it be a problem to get donations from them?

It wasn't a "donation", it was "a couple of indefinite open-ended loans".

NonyNony said...

You guys might be right but if he read the letters and thought his health insurance was going to be cancelled why didn't he sign up for a new policy?

Because he's lazy and irresponsible?

I mean, that's what I got from his little anecdote before the news came out that he was lying. He claimed that they cancelled his policy at the end of the year. Well, yeah that can happen when you're dealing with a private company, they might not want to renew a contract. Did you sign up for a new one jerkwad?

I have sympathy for folks with little to no time and money having to get yanked around by insurance companies looking to maximize profits. I have no sympathy for whiny rich people who have plenty of time and money to deal with this stuff or pay someone else to deal with it for him. Hell we've found out he's got an insurance broker - it's not like he's navigating the Exchange website himself and trying to make sense of it. He's paying someone to do the work for him and he wants me to think he's got some kind of problem? His problem seems to be that he's either a liar or he's a poor judge of who he should hire to be his insurance broker...